Wednesday, March 4, 2015

In my Kitchen - March 2015

When we first bought our house two dozen years ago, I hated the kitchen. The whole house was a fixer upper from hell, with orange wall paper, green linoleum and iffy plumbing. But the kitchen was it's own special level of ugly, nothing worked, the fuses blew if you even thought about running more than one appliance at a time and it was cramped as a submarine.



Over the years, the hub has replaced ever bit of it, even the fuses, so I can run the microwave and the dishwasher at the same time.... and now I love our little kitchen.

We still have to walk sideways like crabs when we are all in there, and yell, "Hot behind you!"when  someone opens the oven, but it works.



I'm still in the middle of breadbaking mania.  After watching Josh Kaufman's wonderful TED talk on how to learn a skill in 20 hours, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnY, I decided to bake 20 loaves of bread, trying to make each one a little bit better each time.

The goal is a crispy crunchy crust and a chewy airy crumb.




One loaf I made had a nice mix of seeds and grain. 


Some loaves were prettier than others.









I baked #13 yesterday and it came out a treat. Each loaf is exciting in a small, humble way. I like finding out what happens if the recipe is tweaked a little. It's teaching me patience. The baked loaf has to sit for at least 20 minutes before you cut it or it will be gummy. Bread baking is teaching me planning, a loaf for Friday needs a starter feed on Monday, sponge making on Thursday and shaping and baking on Friday morning.

It's helped to have my mate, Celia, bread baker extraordinaire from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, patting my hand and giving me good advice along the way.

I've been getting a lot of good use out of my Le Creuset red brassier, I made a cassoulet for the first time.


And Chicken Spinach Rollups...


For Valentines, my man got me Orange Marmalade, Bergamot Jam, vanilla and a cool kitty cookie cutter.


The Farmer's Market had these beautiful red oranges, so I made a salad with feta and spiced pecans.


So, that's what's in my little kitchen. For my next 20 Hour challenge, I'm trying to get better at drawing hands. What skill would you like to learn?

Wishing you a creative week,

Marilyn.

--


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 I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
~ Pablo Picasso


 

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for an interesting IMK. I like the idea of consciously pursuing 20 hours of work towards a skill, I'll have to think about what to try next...

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    1. My pleasure, Jenny. It does open up a world of possibilities! :-)

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  2. I'll have to watch that TED talk-- 20 loaves is mighty impressive! I am often waaay too impatient to wait for bread to cool a little before cutting it so I think the skill I'd like to learn is patience!

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    1. I hope that you enjoy it. And bread baking is one of those things you can't rush. It's almost like the more time you let pass, whether kneading, rising or baking, the better the result. Loaf #13 would have been so much better if I would have given it ten minutes more in the oven. Patience, patience. :-)

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  3. Oh I love this idea of improving a skill in 20 hours, thank you for sharing that. Your loaves look gorgeous. We've just brought to life another of Celia's Priscilla's children here in London and my very first IMK post has been to introduce the sourdough, which we named Pussy Galoaf. :-)

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  4. I remember so many changes, and yet I don't think anything is the same since the last time I saw it. :)

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  5. I think that everything's been replaced at least once, Scotch. :-)

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